By on July 8, 2021

 

Screenshot via Dodge's YouTube channel

It’s EV Day at Stellantis.

And boy, is there a lot to chew over.

Stellantis lays out plans to invest more than €30 billion through 2025 on electrification. Those plans include a target of over 70 percent of European sales being low-emissions vehicles in Europe, along with over 40 percent in the U.S.

The company says all 14 brands will be “committed” to “fully electrified solutions”, including BEVs that have ranges from 300-500 miles and fast-charging capabilities of up to 20 miles of charge per minute.

It plans on having four “flexible” battery-electric vehicle platforms and a group of three “scalable” electric drive modules, along with standardized battery packs, to allow it to cover all of its brands and segments.

There are also plans to build five gigafactories between North America and Europe as part of a battery-sourcing strategy. The batteries themselves are interesting — one promises to be a high energy-density option and the other free from nickel-cobalt. That latter one is planned for 2024.

Solid-state battery technology is planned for 2026.

Oh, and did we mention Stellantis is targeting double-digit adjusted operating income margins by around 2026 or so?

Those are a lot of bold claims, and naturally, we’re skeptical.

It’s not just because many OEMs are making ambitious claims regarding electric vehicles — claims that seem unreachable in the timelines given. It’s partly because Stellantis’ has made big claims before (back when the company had a different name) and failed to deliver (to be fair, some of the failures were due to factors beyond the company’s control). And it’s partly because, well, it’s a lot. A lot of change in a short time for a company that still uses ancient platforms to underpin some cars and also relies on a mix of relatively small brands.

That hasn’t stopped the marketing department from putting its heads together to come up with snappy slogan. These are directly copied from Stellantis:

  • Abarth – “Heating Up People, But Not the Planet”
  • Alfa Romeo – “From 2024, Alfa Becomes Alfa e-Romeo”
  • Chrysler – “Clean Technology for a New Generation of Families”
  • Citroën – “Citroën Electric: Well-Being for All!”
  • Dodge – “Tear Up the Streets… Not the Planet”
  • DS Automobiles – “The Art of Travel, Magnified”
  • Fiat – “It’s Only Green When It’s Green for All”
  • Jeep® – “Zero Emission Freedom”
  • Lancia – “The Most Elegant Way to Protect the Planet”
  • Maserati – “The Best in Performance Luxury, Electrified”
  • Opel/Vauxhall – “Green is the New Cool”
  • Peugeot – “Turning Sustainable Mobility into Quality Time”
  • Ram – “Built to Serve a Sustainable Planet”
  • Commercial Vehicles – “The Global Leader in e-Commercial Vehicles”

Slogans are great, but product is better, and in that vein, here are the four planned platforms, plus each one’s maximum targeted range: STLA Small (300 miles), STLA Medium (440 miles), STLA Large (500 miles), and STLA Frame (500 miles). The three electric drive modules will combine motor, gearbox, and inverter, and can be setup for front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive, or for 4xe four-wheel drive.

Battery packs can be tailored to vehicle type. Current or planned joint ventures will help the company bring forth new technology, whether it’s for powertrains or digital cockpits.

There are other pieces of product news, relating to Jeep, Dodge, and Ram, that we will cover separately.

As for the bigger picture, we’re skeptical, but we also understand that Stellantis, like everybody else, needs to at least show a strong commitment to electrification. And if the company can deliver on its promises, it will be in a strong position as the market shifts further to EVs.

Of course, there are factors that are partially or fully beyond Stellantis’ control at play — questions surrounding charging infrastructure, and consumer demand for EVs, and if consumers will remain gripped by range anxiety, and so on and so forth. A great EV plan means diddly if the cars can’t be charged easily and quickly, for example.

The auto industry being as complex as it is, we also feel compelled to note that the best-laid plans tend to get waylaid. Stellantis could, for example, meet its targets in terms of having its EV platforms ready for production, and then run into production delays. Delays perhaps caused by an outside factor or factors — the way COVID and chip shortages screwed with production in 2020 and 2021.

Stellantis is yet another automaker talking big on EVs. But until vehicles are rolling off lines, into showrooms, and off dealer lots into driveways, it’s just that — talk.

[Image: Screenshot via Dodge’s YouTube channel]

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54 Comments on “Stellantis Makes Big EV Promises. Can It Keep Them?...”


  • avatar
    Kruser

    I’ve driven a the new Fiat 500 electrics as part of Stellantis’s LeasysGo car sharing service pilot in Turin (and now Rome, I think). I like the cars quite a lot, but I don’t think their range will knock anyone’s socks off. Starting with a city car makes sense. Building something larger, with more range, however, is an open question.

  • avatar
    Rick T.

    With all this massive investment in EV tech the car companies are setting themselves up as too big to fail.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Those slogans are all terrible.
    When it comes to BEVs I don’t have much faith in talk so we’ll see what they actually build.

    Does anyone recall the ChryslerCo ENVI program?
    jalopnik.com/chrysler-envi-program-
    updated-with-new-models-big-stic-5128471

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Selling EVs using green slogans is a sure-fire way to alienate the majority of the market. Most buyers really don’t care about that agenda.

    If you hadn’t said “directly copied”, I would have thought it was a joke.

    As for the other words, they’re saying all the right things to be successful making EVs – including the battery factories – but I don’t think they have the resources to pull off a *fraction* of this in the next few years. They’re talking about re-engineering the whole company.

    It’s interesting that Chrysler still makes the cut – that’s newsworthy.

    Sergio is rolling over in his grave.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      They only specifically mention “green” in the largely Euro-branded cars. The US brands don’t use the green label at all. “Going green” works politically in Europe, at least until the power goes out in Germany.

      There are buzzwords in the American slogans that are familiar enough to not be associated with a political movement, mostly because there’s no national green party in the US.

      Bottom line, though – all these slogans will be modified heavily, especially the US model ones.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @Lorenzo:

        I’m referring to any references to environmentalism, not just the word ‘green’. Environmentalism appeals to a niche market, and carries both positive and negative meanings, depending on the listener.

        Left-leaning politicians never understand how offensive the green agenda and its slogans can be, and neither do marketing departments.

        “Built to Serve a Sustainable Planet” won’t appeal to the Texas rancher shopping for his next pickup, but an operational cost of $0.06/mile and near-zero maintenance might, along with a great warranty and performance capabilities.

        Marketing is about what appeals to me, not to someone else. Even with no marketing, this is how Tesla appeals to so many people – they build (arguably) beautiful cars that outperform everything on the road. They don’t look like science projects, and they don’t require compromise.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Sergio’s main focus was selling the company, SCE. Mission accomplished.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      “Selling EVs using green slogans is a sure-fire way to alienate the majority of the market.”

      The “Market” which matters, are the ones paying and driving decisions. Meaning, the ones subsidizing and mandating. The rest are about as relevant as the cotton pickers at an Antebellum plantation: They’re role is just to work harder, demand less and pay for the idiocy.

  • avatar
    toronado

    these cannot be serious. I mean each one is just ridiculous.

  • avatar
    probert

    The only legacy makers with real rubber on the road are VW and KIA/Hyundai, mybe Renault. The rest have tokens, a finger in the wind, and an oil lobby that creams at any second rate extrusion they manage to build. Legacy knows one thing: Tesla set the table, and NIO, Xpeng etc have a place to sit. They are scared, if they are smart….I have my doubts..

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Solid-state batteries are much more likely to see the light of day than any of these terrible slogans.

    EVs will sell well when they’re cheaper to own than gas cars. Whether they become so depends on battery prices, which depend in turn on whether new battery tech pans out. Everything else is noise and hype.

  • avatar
    MoDo

    Lol yeah, they’ve devoted 30B and a massive press conference because its “just talk”. Do not confuse them with some BS fly by night cash grab EV start up.

  • avatar

    As we would say in Russia: “Маразм крепчал”. The truth is that half of these brands will be dead by 2025. And Buratino too.

  • avatar
    islander800

    “A great EV plan means diddly if the cars can’t be charged easily and quickly, for example.”

    Here in Canada, our virtue-signaling, climate-change-fighting federal Liberal government has just “mandated” that by 2035, ALL new light-duty passenger vehicles sold must be fully electric. Good. I frankly agree, given the emergency we’re facing. But…. you need the infrastructure to CHARGE all of those new vehicles. Do you spend $15 billion or so upgrading the power generating plants and transmission lines, right down to neighborhood level, OR do you put that money – or much less, likely – into incentives for home and multi-unit building owners to install their own charging systems with solar panels and storage “Power Wall”- type batteries. And bonus! – in low-usage periods, all these distributed systems could feed power back into the grid or could serve as short-term backup systems for residences when the lights go out – like in, oh, Texas recently.

    Not holding my breath waiting for the essential second component (distributed electric generation and storage) to the announced, MANDATORY first (you ALL must buy electric)…

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      Lol, empty statement by a weakling virtue signalling PM. Fact is nobody builds cars for Canada and they aren’t going to start. Canada gets what the US gets and that wont change.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The infrastructure concerns are a straw man.

      My EV adds 20% to my monthly electric consumption. Considering how few EVs are in the fleet, even substantial EV sales growth will hardly make an impact on grid demand. The grid should be able to grow in concert with EV market penetration.

      As for feeding power back into the grid – that’s a very touch subject with utilities. They don’t have a mechanism for measuring/costing reverse power flow, transformers aren’t made for that, and they’re not thrilled about potentially dirty or uneven power surging back into the grid from random homeowners, which upsets their power generation schedules. It’s a complex issue.

      One unresolved issue is apartment/condo dwellers – it’s not so easy for them to own an EV, unless rapid chargers become as plentiful as gas stations.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        L3 chargers will become more plentiful than gas stations, especially since the utilities will have an incentive to subsidize connections to them. They are vastly cheaper to install and operate than gas infrastructure and will be solidly profitable when placed well.

      • 0 avatar
        Mustangfast

        Not true, the infrastructure is a concern. Using your example, an EV switch would be like adding 20% more houses to every street, 20% more apartments to every building, multiplied by every residential structure in the country. Most large apartment/condo buildings can’t support this without the entire system into their building being upgraded. It is very much a concern as more adoption happens and is a major reason these artificial timelines are ridiculous. That’s not even starting to explain where the extra power will come from, since many areas are paying residents already to reduce usage to avoid building more capacity

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @Mustangfast: While I prefer a market-driven conversion to EVs and I agree the infrastructure needs to be upgraded, it can be done.

          First of all, the power infrastructure needs to be upgraded and modernized regardless of EVs. It needs to be done. Where the extra power will come from is has been identified and there are projects are underway to bring it on-line. A major source of new power will be to take advantage of power coming from plants at off-peak hours that is now going to waste. This is being addressed by building grid storage systems to take the wasted power, store it in batteries like CATLs new low-cost sodium-ion batteries, then release it when needed. These storage facilities are being built now. These facilities can also be used to store solar and wind power.

          You can also localize these grid storage facilities. I have friends that do it now and I plan on doing it. Solar (or I could do wind as well) on individual homes can take advantage of grid storage for obvious reasons. Without solar these systems can pull power off-peak from the grid and then use it at peak times. You could use them for an apt buildings chargers as well. Store the power when everyone is away, then use it when needed. No infrastructure needed. Cost is not going to be as bad in the past since CATL started mass production of low-cost sodium-ion batteries this month and I’m sure more companies will follow. No expensive cobalt, nickel, or lithium is used.

          https://www.energy-storage.news/news/us-doi-gives-green-light-to-350mw-1400mwh-energy-storage-project-in-califor

          https://www.independent.com/2021/02/18/grid-scale-battery-storage-is-taking-off/#:~:text=San%20Diego%2C%20Long%20Beach%2C%20and,world%20in%20high%2Dcapacity%20batteries.

          https://www.faradion.co.uk/faradion-comment-on-catl-announcement-this-week/

          https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/batteries-storage/sodium-ion-batteries-poised-to-pick-off-large-scale-lithium-applications

  • avatar
    favro

    Do people even want these cars? Or is it only because governments are creating the market for them? All I see happening is that non-western car manufacturers take advantage of the hole in ICE production and end up taking a large share of the market. Maybe not in western cities that are more suited to electric car usage, but nearly everywhere else where it’s still really tough to own one.

    I’ve got nothing against electric cars, they are really a lot better in many ways. But they don’t suit every purpose and have some pretty considerable critical disadvantages, especially for 1 car families. I just can’t fathom why these companies are putting all their eggs in one basket.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @favro: Actually, people do want them. They’re superior to ICE cars in terms of toque, smoothness, and quiet. It’s very much like having a V8 or V12. Vastly superior to ICEs, especially 4 cylinder CVTs. They’re also fine for 1 car families. You can get range of 300 to 400 miles and at least with Tesla, the infrastructure is there for long distance trips.

      One reason the companies are making a push to electrics is regardless of government interference, battery and motor technology is advancing quickly enough that in 10 or 15 years ICE won’t be competitive at all with EVs.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        MCS

        I m coming around on BEV. Was very anti BEV – now? No fighting city hall. They ARE coming.

        But, you say people want BEV. If so, why are sales 2% of the market despite being on sale for 10 years or more with tremendous state and federal freebies stacked on the hood?

        If Any other product in any other industry showed this poor of a result with this much of ‘try out,’ it would be killed off. Full stop.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          I think there are still limitations for many people. Some may want one, but circumstances limit their ability to have one. Economic, living location etc. But, over time, as infrastructure and the vehicles improve, more people can cross the line and make the purpose. I remember my EV purchase depended on quick charging stations being installed near my furthest commute location. If that hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have made the buy.

          You have to look at the progression of the technology and where it will be in 10 to 15 years. I think if they can get cheap 300+ Wh/kg sodium-ion batteries to the market, costs will come down considerably. Also, if every gas station has a couple of quick chargers, it will make a difference. But, it’s a process of meeting the requirements of each individual.

          The other big factor is like I keep saying, they are such a joy to drive. I’m totally addicted to the torque and instant response. I can’t imagine anyone test driving a 3 or 4cyl CVT, then driving an EV, and going with the CVT unless there were circumstances that forced it.

          I still prefer a battle of the fittest and do not like the government mandates. They really need to let the market do its thing and let people come around themselves. If I was running an auto company, the last thing I’d promote is the greeness and the economy. I don’t think that’s why people are really buying them. It’s not why I like them. Talking with other EV owners, the first thing they bring up is the driving experience. Pushing the greenness makes people think they are like Priuses in term of driving when they are exactly the opposite.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        I would disagree with the 1 car family part. The trip we are taking next week would be much longer if we were to use a BEV as opposed to the minivan. Plus, it would be a lot more cramped than the minivan. 500+ miles per tank and 5 minutes to fill up. I know BEV can charge to 80% in 30-40 minutes, but that is only 80% meaning more stops down the road or a lot longer charge time to get to 100%.

        It would be great as a commuter if you had a second car for road trips, or for leisurely road trips.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Do people even want these cars? Or is it only because governments are creating the market for them?”

      Both, I’d say.

  • avatar
    wolfwagen

    What a bunch of douchey slogans!

    That said the ones for Chrysler, Maserati, Ram and Commercial Vehicles are least objectionable IMO.

    Based on these slogans alone, Abarth, Alfa, Fiat, Opel/Vauxhall and Peugeot should be cancelled immediately.

    • 0 avatar
      islander800

      I had to check the site I was on when I first read that list. It sounds like something The Auto Extremist, Peter M. DeLorenzo, would pen in one of his satirical columns (like his latest on Fu King Motors)….

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Bulls**t slogans aside, I think they’re serious about this. And if nothing else, maybe this is how Dodge gets saved – as a maker of niche, high performance EVs, or a more mass-market EV brand with “attitude.”

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “I think they’re serious about this”

      If there is a Dodge-branded BEV muscle car for sale in 2024 I will be very surprised.

      I think for the American market there will be some more PHEVs and some sort of EV pickup and that’s it by 2024.

      Also if everyone is making only EVs in the future then EVs aren’t exactly a unique selling point for any brand.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Time will tell – maybe FCA had something cooking before the merger.

        But I do think the company’s serious about EVs.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I have extreme doubts. They didn’t even show anything real during their fancy presentation, it was all CGI and stuff under tarps. ChryslerCo has been doing this sort of thing my entire life and they rarely deliver.

          They may need to go EV just because the world goes that way but they won’t be leaders.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, *something* was doing a four-wheeled burnout. Agreed about Chrysler teasing vaporware (golly, are they EVER going to bring out that three-row CUV?), but I think that was an FCA thing. There are new owners minding the store, and clearly it’s a larger company than FCA ever was, which bodes well for new product of some kind.

            Again…we’ll see.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Well, *something* was doing a four-wheeled burnout.”

            I believe that was CGI.

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    “YOU WILL HAVE ELECTRIC VEHICLES WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!” was the most accurate slogan, but focus groups reactions were largely negative.

    The future is gonna suck. And not in the good way.

    OTOH, you really only have to convince the young that things are better than ever and you are free and clear once everyone who knows better gets too old, cynical or dead to be a problem.

  • avatar
    Mustangfast

    “Can they keep their promises”

    With slogans like that do we really want them to? I can only hope product planners and engineers are about 150x better than their marketers

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